Google's philanthropy funds renewable energy, electric cars
Google.org's announcement to spend more than $25 million in new grants and investments includes money for monitoring and predicating the effects of climate change, producing renewable energy cheaper than coal, and supporting plug-in vehicles.
Google.org, the philanthropic arm of Google, announced yesterday a number of initiatives it will support over the next five to ten years.
Company founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin have committed to devote about one percent of the company's equity and one percent of annual profits, as well as employee time, to philanthropy.
The company’s Renewable Energy Cheaper Than Coal initiative was launched late last year, and it will give $10 million to eSolar, a Pasadena, Calif., company focused on solar thermal power, which uses heat from solar energy instead of fuel in power plants.
Google.org will also invest amounts from $500,000 to $2 million in selected for-profit companies working on commercializing electric vehicles. One of the group’s initiatives, RechargeIT, aims to accelerate the adoption of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, electric vehicles and vehicle-to-grid technology.
An additional environmental investment, $600,000 will go to Clark University to develop a system for monitoring, analyzing and predicting the impacts of climate change on ecosystems, food and health in Africa and the Amazon. The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation will provide an additional $600,000 for the effort.
The system is aimed at providing environmental, health and development data, information and analysis tools over the Internet for free.
The other philanthropic initiatives include money for improving detection and response to global health and humanitarian crises, strengthening national and sub-regional disease surveillance systems in the Mekong Basin area, assessing education and bettering planning in India, and supporting enterprises, job creation and poverty alleviation globally.
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